updates on various topics

My hair
I went to a new hairdresser last week. As a curly-headed person, it’s always worrisome visiting a new hairdresser because you don’t want to leave the place looking like this:

The hairdresser was nice, but she way over-shared her knowledge of hair follicles, split ends and top of the line shampoo. She even tried to sell me a shampoo/condition made primarily of caviar. I was very polite and (tried to) responded with the appropriate level of enthusiasm, but inside I was thinking, “I have a strict grocery budget so there’s no way I’m going to pay $65 TO PUT FISH EGGS IN MY HAIR.”

Our first Sunday here we went to a new church. We visited that church when we came in May, but this time we went to Sunday school. The man who greeted us at the door asked if we wanted to be in the 20’s class or the 30-40’s class. Such questions always present us with a problem because I’m 23 but Christopher is very old will be 30 in November. We ended up in the class with the 30-40 year olds but really, everyone in the class seemed like a spring chicken compared to our last Sunday school class. The average age at that class was 65.
I absolutely do not enjoy speaking in situations where everyone sits around watching, but unfortunately for me, that’s the recipe for interactive Sunday schools. Here’s an example of why I sit there very quietly and let Christopher do all the talking.

George (the SS teacher): “So Sarah, you’re a military wife, right?”
Me: “Yes.”
George: “And sometimes Christopher goes out on training or to the field and you are left at home?”
Me: “Yes.” (I am so eloquent!) 
George: “What do you do when Christopher’s not at home?”
Me: (what I said in my head- He really wants to know what I do? What am I supposed to say? I don’t want to say that I read, eat, scrapbook, eat snacks and occasionally watch a movie. Maybe I should say I planted flowers one time. Maybe grocery shopping is the right answer. Why does he want to know what I do??) “Ummm…”

George: “You hold down the fort, don’t you? You make sure everything runs smoothly.”
Me: “Oh. OH. Yes. That’s right. That’s what I do.”

Those were the only words I ever spoke in that class.

We went to see the new Bourne movie the other day.

That was a rather frustrating experience.

This is not an update so much as a few tips from someone who had A LOT of unanswered questions when she left the theater.
1. The guy in the woods at the beginning is the same guy who saves the lady from being shot in her house. Don’t spend 45 minutes of your life wondering when the guy from the woods is going to appear again. He did appear; he just looked different because he shaved. Never has facial hair made me so frustrated.
2. Jason Bourne is not in the movie so don’t keep wondering when he’s going to make some sort of unrealistic entrance. I don’t know why they called it a Bourne movie if HE WASN’T EVEN IN IT. If they had called it the Aaron Cross Legacy I would have enjoyed the movie a little bit more.
3. If 55 minutes into the movie you have asked your version of Christopher 18 questions and he’s only known the answer to 3 of them, it may be time to reassess your movie choices.
4. Eat some popcorn.
5. Declare the next month a girly movies only month.

it doesn’t help that I frequently confuse zip code and area code

One of my least favorite questions these days is, “what’s
your zip code?” I always have to put on my thinking cap (it’s a very cute cap,
by the way) and try to decide which of my five zip codes would be the best
answer given the circumstance. Do they want the Massachusetts zip
code? The New York zip code? The other
New York zip code? The zip code formerly associated with our debit card? Our current
zip code? 
This is what moving four times in less than a year will do to a person. 

In an attempt to solve this problem, I wrote down our
address on a piece of paper and stuck it in my wallet to pull out at any time. I
thought it would be so convenient to have it written out, thereby freeing me
from having to go through the work of putting on my thinking cap. The only
problem with this otherwise flawless plan was that the address on the paper
does not match where we currently live, thereby making it null and void. This was discovered on numerous occasions when
I was forced to write out our current zip code only to came face to face with the zip
code of our other New York address. If you know any secretaries looking for a job, please send them my way.

To further complicate things, for
the first time we have a license plate on our car that matches the state we
live in. For most people this wouldn’t be an issue, but the whole time we’ve been married our car had a Mississippi plate which made it relatively easy to
locate in most parking lots. You would
think that would have stopped us from walking up and down numerous parking lots
because we lost our car AGAIN, while I poked fun at Christopher because the
scout couldn’t find his own car (that’s a joke that doesn’t grow old), but it
didn’t.  My usual plan in parking lots is
to park next to an obnoxious/can’t lose it car while I do my shopping so that
when I come out, I only have to look for the obnoxious car, not ours. As you
may have guessed, that plan only works IF THE OBNOXIOUS CAR IS STILL THERE. If
not, we’re back to square one.

Since we’re on the subject of cars, for a while the clock in
our truck was all messed up so in order to figure out the time, you had to do
math. While driving. It’s a wonder I’m
still here. I figured out that in order
to know the correct time, you had to subtract 5 from the hour shown and add 7 to the minutes shown. Even then, the clock was finicky so sometimes it changed
on me and I’d have to figure out the new time formula. And you know what? The only
way to be SURE you had the correct time was to look at a watch or cell phone, in which
case you didn’t need to do the math anyway. It was so confusing. But like they say,
it’s five o’clock somewhere. 

More about my current mouth situation. I’m sorry.

Well, I’m alive and but not exactly kicking.

I’ve spent the majority of the week lying on the couch while a) holding ice packs and heating pads up to my face, and b) asking when I could take more painkillers. I watched the occasional movie, read a little, and contemplated which body parts could have been removed instead of my teeth so I wouldn’t have to give up eating food. Let me tell you, it’s not easy trying to eat when you can only open your mouth 2.5 centimeters. The latest issue I’ve had to deal with is not smiling or laughing. If anyone does anything remotely funny, I have to hold my face in my hands and try to laugh because it makes my face feel like it’s simultaneously burning and being pulled apart AND THAT DOESN’T FEEL GOOD. Apparently my family thinks I look funny when I do this. They always start laughing more and run to get the camera. They are so sympathetic to my plight.

I did do something productive during my medicine induced less-pain-than-normal moments: I hand sewed the little birdie on this onesie for baby Eliana at church. 

I wish little Eliana a lifetime of happiness and joy. May she never experience the removal of four impacted wisdom teeth. 

Don’t Make Me Laugh, and Other Tooth Tales.

The day as documented by Elizabeth.

hen it comes down to it, all I can say is that God certainly created Jello with a purpose.

On Monday, March 19, Sarah, accompanied by her mother and I, groggily waved goodbye to her wisdom teeth. At least, that is how we imagine it played out. Not being by her side throughout the procedure, we can only guess at the details. She does say, though, that the doctor (who we shall henceforth refer to as Dr. Pullgood) rolled his eyes at the nurses on more than one occasion.

When the nurse in the blue clothes summoned mom and I into the recovery room, Sarah met us with a moan. “My arm got THIS big,” said she, indicating a hill-sized area above her wrist. Apparently, the nurses experienced some technical difficulties while attempting to insert the needle for the iv. Doing my best not to cry at her weakened condition, I assured her that it really would be alright and placed Grace, my favorite lamb, by her lucky socks for moral support. 
Coming in close behind, Mom, Sarah’s other faithful supporter, quickly took possession of a very sketchy chair. For a second I grew indecisive in my protector instincts, unsure whether to instate disaster control in the unfortunate event of the collapse of my mother’s seat, or to somehow silence the groans coming from the cot. Thankfully, at this uncomfortable moment, Dr. Pullgood made his appearance in the doorway. He. Had. No. Hair. Quickly and concisely, he mentioned Sarah’s stellar performance in the surgery room. Bathed in humility, Sarah nodded painfully and poked gingerly at the wads of gauze streaming from her mouth. Personally, I doubt very much that she heard a word of what he said as he instructed us on how to care for someone who has just lost half her teeth. 
He spoke.
She poked.
He spoke.
She poked.
Finally, following a good deal of directions and cautions, he made his exit, murmuring something about genetics and marveling to himself  how all three of us looked exactly the same. Why thank you, sir. After all, don’t we all want to look this stunning? (She also made sure to check her fan mail at the first possible opportunity. :P)
By the time we walked out the door, a nurse on one side and mom on the other and she was telling the story yet again. “My arm…got THIS big.” Yes, dear. I know. You told us that already. Let’s just get you home and give you some Jello.
While our feminine parental unit was picking The Twin up at track, Sarah and I settled onto the couch for some quality sister time. This included Sarah’s computer and her very own personal container of lemon sorbet which, keeping Dr. Pullgood’s instructions in mind, I smooshed up in the microwave. She sucked away contentedly while I leaned back and kept an eye on her progress. The birds sang outside the open windows and the setting sun shone warmly behind us. All seemed right with the world.  Soon Josh Turner’s “Time Is Love” music video filled the screen, bedazzling both of us as we gazed dreamily on. Me: Ahhhhhhhhh, he is SO handsome.  Sarah: Mmmmmmmm… Me: *in a distracted tone* I think living in a home with 13 girls had made me appreciate guys more… Sarah: Well, *drinks from sorbet carton* I only live with one guy and I sure appreciate this one. *points to screen with bandaged arm* Me: Uuhhhhhhm… Sarah: *groggily* wait…..I…..*slurp* …I don’t think… *slurp* …that came out right…

Ok then. Why don’t we go back to discussing how BIG your arm got.

Ahhh, I love my sister 😀

I wonder what exciting medical issues tomorrow will bring

Today I went to the urgent care clinic. I had been feeling nauseous and headachy on and off since the Carbon Monoxide Incident, so I went to visit those who wear white coats and stethoscopes. I hadn’t done any form of exercise lately, so I decided that I would go to the doctor after Zumba. After forty minutes my stomach protested my decision to jump, lunge, and generally move in ways that caused discomfort, so I left before the class was done. I had to do some in depth thinking about which medical facility to visit. I considered trying to get an appointment with a regular doctor at the clinic, but they don’t believe in prompt scheduling so I probably couldn’t get in for two weeks. That left the hospital and the urgent care clinic. I swore after The Great Plague of 2011 that I was not going back to the urgent care clinic (something about being told that a heart rate of 134 was “nothing to worry about” didn’t really sit right with me), but I decided it would be the best place to go today. The hospital was ruled out because even though I visited twice during The Great Plague, I’m not entirely sure how to get there.

I filled out the required paperwork at the UCC (see that? I’m a Army wife throwing around acronyms!!) then sat down to wait. And wait. And wait some more. I don’t think the powers that be understand the full meaning of the word URGENT. My fellow waiting room companions were a woman with a horrendous cold, a boy with an infected hand, and a soldier waiting to get a rabies shot. I don’t think his companion was thrilled with the wait because he suggested that the nurse throw the needle like a football over the counter, across the waiting room, and into the man so they could leave. That would have been much more entertaining than the soap opera on the tv.

Finally they called me back and subjected me to a question I find most difficult to answer: are you pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant? What exactly is their definition of “planning on”? Do I plan on producing a small person sometime within the next five years? Yes. Within the next month? No. Welcome to my brain. I was told that I do not have CO2 poisoning. I simply have a some form of virus and was prescribed an anti-nausea medication.  

You know what I had to do after leaving that doctor? Call my oral surgeon to ask if I could take the medicine because I’m having my wisdom teeth removed on Monday and was told not to take certain prescriptions. My life is full of doctors and medical questions! The nurse at the oral surgeon’s office and I had this delightful conversation:
Me: It’s spelled Z-O-F-R-A-N
Her: G as in girl, O…
Me: Z as in zoo, O, F
Her: Z as in zoo, O, S as in Sam
Me: Z-O-F as in Fran
Her: Z-O-F-what’s the next letter?

Me: R. Then A and N
Her: Z-O-F-R-A-what did you say?
Me: N as in night. Night as in N, not knight as in K.

Here’s hoping for less confusion when four teeth are removed from my mouth.

I’m quite the expert at singing national anthems

After four days, I think it’s safe to say we’re settled into our new home. “Settled” really is a very relative term when we’ll be here for less than two months, but this is our home for now. I feel like inviting Carrie Underwood over to serenade us with Temporary Home. 

On Tuesday I went to get an oil change for the truck. Contrary to what you may be thinking, I am not about to say I had another embarrassing experience at the mechanics. I never got to the mechanics because I got lost. There I was, wandering the roads of upstate New York without food or drink for a good hour. It didn’t take me long to discover that all corn fields look the same and that REALLY didn’t help my current situation any. 
I finally made it back to home sweet home and decided a good cup of coffee might help calm my nerves. Something went awry in my coffee/water ratio calculations and I ended up with the most watered down coffee I have ever had. It was not one of my favorite afternoons ever.

On to more cheerful topics. This is the view I see every morning when I wake up.

 The United States is in the foreground and Canada is in the back.

My morning ritual goes something like this: wake up, eventually decide to get out of bed, immediately walk to the door and look out at The View. I like to make sure Canada and the United States are still there, side by side. I always feel I should sing O Canada and The Star Spangled Banner at such moments.

Then I decide maybe I should spend my time doing things like making coffee correctly.